Sunny-Side-Up Apricot Pastry (Plus tips on vanilla pastry cream!)

Sunny-Side-Up Apricot Pastry | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François
Photo by Mark Luinenburg from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

In Minnesota for the past week it has been a little too gray for my taste. The one consolation to all the cold and snow we get around here are the endless clear blue skies. They are rather remarkable and make the winters tolerable. When they refuse to show themselves through the clouds I go cold. This means I need a little something to brighten up my day. Something sweet! Something easy and quick. Sunny-Side-Up Apricot Pastry (p. 225) will do the trick. A combination of buttery brioche, luscious vanilla pastry cream and tangy sweet apricots. Read More

Back to Basics: The Original Chocolate Chip Cookies

Plate of Chocolate Chip Cookies | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

They are the chocolate chip cookies we all ate as kids and probably still make on occasion. Toll House, of course. The recipe right off the bag. It is the cookie by which all others are measured. The perfect balance of sweet, salty, gooey, chewy and crisp. Most of us, as we got more confident in the kitchen, ventured from the bag and experimented with other recipes. We dared to add oats, nuts, dried fruit, black pepper, and even pumpkin puree to our chocolate chip cookies but there is still a place for the original. Read More

Gougères (snack food with the difficult name!)

Gougères | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

It’s a cheese puff with a fancy name! The exterior is crisp and the interior soft and custardy. Made small, they are a great snack to serve before dinner or make them larger to be filled. Gougères are typically made with Gruyère cheese and thyme, a combination that begs to be filled with sweet orange marmalade (my personal favorite). You can substitute any hard cheese and herbs you desire in the recipe. Read More

Lemon Meringue Bars

Lemon Meringue Bars

It is Minnesota and there is about 6 inches of snow on the ground, not exactly the time of year for a fresh fruit dessert. So what do we Northerners do when we want something sweet and bright, but can’t find berries that aren’t from the freezer or even a decent apple? We turn to citrus. Of course it doesn’t grow here, not even in the summer, but it travels well and there is such amazing variety. For these lemon meringue bars I actually use a combination of lemons, limes and Meyer lemons (for their perfume). The combination is more interesting and has a zing to it that one fruit alone won’t give.

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